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Thread: Is it dead


  1. #1
    cllaurit's Avatar
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    Is it dead

    I started flying R/C in '73 and quickly moved to pattern flying, I stopped flying R/C in 2000 after getting married and starting a family. Over the last few years I have getting the bug to get back at it, I was driven by the resurgence of the older style of pattern flying. I flew my last pattern contest in '97, I was competing with a Sam Turner designed and built Pursuit. My question is it seems that the old style pattern swell has died off, the planes that were starting to become available are gone now so is it dead?
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  2. #2

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    I too am curious.
    When inverted always remember that down is up and visa versa

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    doxilia's Avatar
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    Far from it!

    You guys are just looking in the wrong forum...

    Much of the RCU Classic Pattern community has migrated over to RCG in light of the issues experienced here over the last several years. It was just becoming too unreliable for threads of substance. Photos went amiss, text became garbled, uploads were a hit and miss depending on the day and so on.

    Come join us at:

    https://www.rcgroups.com/classic-pattern-flying-722/

    David

    PS Cllaurit, what happened to that nice Summit III that you and Jeff build and painted? That was a nice model!

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    It's not just classic pattern. AMA and F3A pattern are both in a death spiral too. Numbers of contest and contestants keeps dropping every year.What's left are almost all older men that keep aging. Almost no new young flyers.

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    350 members in our club and I rarely see a pattern plane.
    David

  6. #6
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    I'd say the trend has moved away from all kinds of pattern and aerobatics flying. SPA, CPA and some of the smaller groups have definitely declined, F3A and AMA pattern has declined due, IMO, to the high cost and high level of skill needed just to get started. IMAC has declined where I live, but I hear it's still strong in other places. I think it'll come back around in a few more years in some form or another though. All it really takes is a couple of clubs in an area to host an event. It's easy enough to create a beginner's class that allows only sport type planes in order to get people interested.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!
    RCU Beginner's Forum Moderator AMA 891050

  7. #7

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    For everyone here complaining about the "death" of pattern, ask yourself what are YOU doing to bring new pilots into the fold?. We MUST be pro-active in the effort to keep pattern alive. In my club, I am always on the look-out for pattern prospects, and when practicing I invite the curious on-lookers to join me on the flight line, as I explain the routine.

    With NSRCA membership, you do have a voice. Speak up at your next competition/meeting. I do agree that the costs are getting out of control, especially in Sportsman and to a lesser extent, Intermediate. No need to scare prospects away with $6,000 planes. The cd's have an option, the "Club" class. Restrict the planes to 65 inches and 6S batteries. Once they compete....most will be hooked. Remember....do something!

    Gary
    2016 D6 Intermediate Champion

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by burtona View Post
    It's not just classic pattern. AMA and F3A pattern are both in a death spiral too. Numbers of contest and contestants keeps dropping every year.What's left are almost all older men that keep aging. Almost no new young flyers.
    IMO. the next crop of potential pilots will come from the drone racing group. A ton of youngsters 16 to 30 years old compete on a semi-weely basis at our home field. I make sure to pull out a pattern plane just as they are tearing the course down after a competition. Many love the plane, and have questions I am glad to answer. They are already bit by the competition bug....so when they get bored with drones, we can pick off a few here and there to become pattern pilots.

    Gary
    2016 D6 Intermediate Champion

  9. #9
    KLXMASTER14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_G View Post
    For everyone here complaining about the "death" of pattern, ask yourself what are YOU doing to bring new pilots into the fold?
    Gary
    Well said. An examination of the traffic on the classic forums, most is devoted to questions like "What engine for my Dirty Birdy?" (hint: a 60), or the latest overpriced MK kit on the auction site. Most don't seem to have an interest in flying, let alone in a manner for which they were designed.

    WE just held a very successful contest at Lancaster, Ca, the FOURTH annual Winter Classic contest. Turnout? 10 pilots. Sometimes its 20. Does not matter. If you think large numbers are required to qualify for success, think again. We have had a successful program running out west since 2011. This has been mostly due to the efforts of two individuals. We want classic pattern, so we make it happen. It won't happen without someone putting out some effort. Over and over we have posted the formula for success, but no one does a thing. One day format, get together or contest, low key, fun, low pressure. Don't get hung up on the airplanes, make it more about the flying.

    Let's see what happens. A flurry of excuses, and no action.

    Robert
    West Coast Regional Director- Classic Pattern Association
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    2014 NSRCA District 7 Advanced Champion

  10. #10
    At our field there are some pattern legends that show up infrequently. The times I've seen them and spoken to them are on weekdays before 3 p.m. At Scobee, we see all types of planes and it gets hugely busy on weekend mornings. I fly a pattern sport plane that some think is a pattern plane (FLASH 45Pro).

    Scobee is a public airpark that requires AMA. The pattern planes show up more after winter. They are older pilots but will answer any question in detail. Be ready to listen. The host club as far as I know has not sponsored a pattern event in a while. The types of aerobatic planes I see are IMAC and F3A and their pilots have great skill. They command the whole field. Others watch.

    As I used to fly at Scobee during the 80's there were only slightly more pattern pilots out there. They flew ballistic as I do now. 3 out of the 5 regulars from back then, I've seen this past year. It may not be the field the pattern pilots use in the Houston area. I see them fly F3A. One is an Allure and another I cannot remember the type but it was homebuilt. I was astounded by their lack of weight.

    My next pattern plane will be a Lightning since I love to build as well as fly.

    One type of pilot that is in a minority out here are Multirotor. I'm dipping my foot into it and really enjoying it, with a mini. There was one that came out and he had the whole special area to himself and was really turning loose. I'm sure Europe and Asia have aerobatic classes for multirotor pattern, this could be a bridge both ways to keep aerobatic competition alive.

  11. #11
    cllaurit's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the replies! It is correct that WE must be the ones to get this rolling again but without MFG's producing kits or ARF's isn't it dead before we start? I know this is a bit of the cart in front of the horse.

    Back in the 70's and 80's my club, SAC(Suburban Aero Club of Chicago) was almost the pattern hub of the Midwest. I remember huge turnouts at our contests and a lot of the big names showed up there. I miss those days. I just can't into the blotted dolphin looking planes nowadays no matter how good they fly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cllaurit View Post
    Thank you all for the replies! It is correct that WE must be the ones to get this rolling again but without MFG's producing kits or ARF's isn't it dead before we start? I know this is a bit of the cart in front of the horse.

    Back in the 70's and 80's my club, SAC(Suburban Aero Club of Chicago) was almost the pattern hub of the Midwest. I remember huge turnouts at our contests and a lot of the big names showed up there. I miss those days. I just can't into the blotted dolphin looking planes nowadays no matter how good they fly.

    The quantity of pattern planes on the market shrunk because the demand dried up. When turn-around pattern took hold in the late '80's, manufacturers followed. I fly the current AMA class, and there is a huge selection of planes available to us. Some inexpensive, some not. We even had a guy show up with a Dirty Birdy and did very well in the Intermediate class.....If you want to compete, and can't find enough action, I'm sure you would be welcome to join in on the fun. Last year, iIn my district, we had 15 or 16 contests! As far as having enough pilots, in our last contest last year, The Cajun Nats, we has 53 pilots. I have a feeling we will have more this year.

    Gary
    2016 D6 Intermediate Champion

  13. #13
    countilaw's Avatar
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    Here is some SPA pattern action from last season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52vr1O5-SP4
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  14. #14
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    I didn't know you made a video of that event, Frank. My Intruder was only 2 weeks old that day. It's had a lot more flights since then. Are you still going to be flying your Kaoses this year?
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!
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  15. #15
    countilaw's Avatar
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    I will be flying my LazerWorks Super Kaos, and maybe my new Tower Kaos 60 ARF. I also have a new Deception. Click image for larger version. 

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    And here is another You tube of the 2016 West Championships at Thunderbird Field

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhmNPVcd4h4


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  16. #16
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    I picked up a built up and doped Kaos last night at the swap meet. Paid $20 for it. I couldn't have bought the dope for it for that. I'll calling it my backup plane in case the unthinkable happens to my Intruder.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!
    RCU Beginner's Forum Moderator AMA 891050

  17. #17
    cllaurit's Avatar
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    I would be interested in the SPA if they would allow pipes and retracts.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cllaurit View Post
    I would be interested in the SPA if they would allow pipes and retracts.
    How far is Burbank from St. Charles? I went to a contest put on by Rusty Dose at a really nice field there in 2010 and it went on for 5 years I think. Very few people from the local clubs in the Chicago area came with models, though some said they would in future. I'd say there were as many people from out of state as local. I came from California and another came from West Virginia. It got smaller and smaller and then was discontinued.

    Maybe you could start events through your own club, like TonyF and Robert Fish are doing in SoCal. There will be at least a few guys that want to fly and you can build on that. There is a certain draw to the Pattern ships and once one flies one they really like them. I flew a Kaos 40 ARF for some time before going on to a Tipo. Letting new people know that a super "scale" 70's Pattern ship isn't required to start flying Classic events and just bring what you have is a good way to start out those you might try to sell on trying the event.
    I think it's not dead, it's small and only as big as those trying to promote it can get it to grow.

    Most guys have migrated to RCGroups because of all of the trouble with this site, like David posted, I agree.
    Chris...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19
    cllaurit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cllaurit View Post
    I would be interested in the SPA if they would allow pipes and retracts.
    I am about an hour or so away from St. Charles. I remember his contest and I wanted to make it out there.
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  20. #20
    countilaw's Avatar
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    Chris,
    What's happening with Hobby Barn?

    Frank
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  21. #21
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    Unless something changes, there will be a division that allows pipes and retracts in SPA this year. It's 15 years too late, but at least the BOD finally decided to listen to the pilots.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!
    RCU Beginner's Forum Moderator AMA 891050

  22. #22

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    Hobby Barn is going out of business
    smooth pass

  23. #23

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    CPA allows retracts and pipes http://classicpatternassociation.com/
    smooth pass

  24. #24
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    Just my opinion but I think the newer designs of pattern planes are turning people off. Stupid, tiny wings behind the cockpit. Huge winglets at the wingtips. Monstrous body height with thin widths. All totally unrealistic for real, useful airplanes, I hope classic pattern blows all these new designs away.

    Again, just my opinion.

  25. #25

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    The older pattern planes are obsolete, designs change with the new schedules, the older one are just to fast.
    smooth pass


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